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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bakshi Review: The TV Years

While a lot of attention is paid towards Bakshi's film work (as people should), people forget the wonderful work that he has done for television over the past forty years. I am here to give my review of each television show he has done.

The Mighty Heroes (1966)

Description: The misadventures of five superheroes against such fiendish villains as The Junker, The Monsterizer, and The Plastic Blaster. Bakshi's first TV cartoon. Produced by Terrytoons for CBS. Five episodes are available on YouTube.

Review: A good cartoon. It is very lively with great poses and cool character designs. However, most of the gags come from the heroes bumping into each other and apologizing to each other. One of the coolest things Terrytoons ever put out, which isn't saying much.

The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse (1987)

Description: The further advntures of the famous Terrytoons character. Produced by Bakshi Animation for CBS. Bakshi was just the producer. Most of the hands-on stuff was done by John Kricfalusi and crack team of hilarious cartoonists. This was seen as the beginning of the "Renaissance of Animation". Cancelled for accusations of inappropriate material (Mighty Mouse supposedly sniffing cocaine). Nine episodes are available on YouTube.

Review: Hilarious animation. Tamer than John K.'s later work, but just as funny. Full of cool cameos by other Terrytoons characters like Gandy Goose and Sourpuss, Hashimoto-San, Deputy Dawg etc. Awesome cartoon in general.

Christmas in Tattertown (1988)

Description: A human girl finds herself in a place called Tattertown looking for her lost doll, Muffet, who has become a despot. Produced by Bakshi animation for Nickelodeon.

Review: I've actually never seen this, but Mr. Bakshi has acquired the rights to this and has confirmed that there will be a DVD release.

The Butter Battle Book (1989)

Description: Two countries try to one up each other by building ever more powerful weapons. Dr. Seuss' satire of the Cold War. Produced by Bakshi Animation for Nickelodeon.

Review: Very faithful adaptation, but not all that great animation. Very limited animation.

Malcolm & Melvin/Babe! He Calls Me (1997)
Description: The adventure of a nerd named Melvin and his friend, a cockroach named Malcolm. Both achieve fame when Malcolm plays trumpet inside Melvin's mouth. However, they have to watch out for Batlaw, a superhero trying to wipe out perversity in the city. Produced, written, and directed by Bakshi for Cartoon Network. Both cartoons are available on YouTube.

Review: Excellent cartoons. Babe! He Calls Me has a more structured narrative. Both are wonderfully animated and have great voice work, including Bakshi as Batlaw.

Spicy City (1997)

Description: A sci-fi show set in a futuristic world known as Spicy City. Each episode is introduced by a host named Raven, a beautiful woman voiced by Michelle Phillips (The Mamas & The Papas). Each episode is a morality tale, full of crooked cops, weirdos, hookers, and other unlikeables. Produced by Bakshi for HBO. All six episodes are available on YouTube.

Review: Excellent show with great character designs, fabulous music, and fantastic stories. The stories are a mixture of Blade Runner, Sin City, and the classic EC Comics. This is an all around success. A shame they cancelled it.

Final Grade: 8.5 out of 10

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Mr. Trombley said...


Christmas In Tattertown

Very low quality, but it's there.

I didn't like it. I don't like The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse either, as important as it is to the industry.

Jim Smith said...

Mighty Heroes was a favorite when I was a wee lad. I got up at 6 every Saturday morning and sat through Morning Devotional, Sunrise Semester, Captain Kangaroo, and others just to make sure I didn't miss any cartoons. When the Heroes came on it was like Christmas.